Almost three fifths of firms now count green IT as an important factor in their selection of new IT systems and equipment, analyst Forrester has claimed.
In its State of Green IT Adoption Q2 2010 report the analyst questioned 531 firms across the globe, both SME and enterprise, to find out their spending habits when it comes to green IT.
Report author Daniel Krauss said: “Forrester’s seventh green IT survey indicates that green IT adoption has remained steady during the past year; it still forms a vital part of many IT organisations’ strategy.
“Cost continues to be the core underlying motivation behind the implementation of green IT. While this is understandable, especially during a time of budget restraint, we expect to see other motivations like brand perception increase in the future as green IT plays a more holistic role within the overall sustainability strategy of organisations.
“Meanwhile, one particular area of growth was the enterprise carbon and energy management (ECEM) systems market: nearly 20 per cent of responding companies now state they have such a system in place.”
The level of awareness over green IT has not changed much in the past two years, the analyst revealed. A total of 45 per cent of respondents said they were aware of vendor’s green efforts, compared with 15 per cent in April 2007, the time of Forrester’s first green report. But in April 2009, this stood at 41 per cent, meaning flat growth over the past year.
Most importantly, nearly three fifths (59 per cent) of companies now include green environmental criteria in the evaluation and selection of IT equipment. This is compared to a low 25 per cent that considered it important in 2007. Larger firms are still more 'green aware' than their smaller counterparts, Forrester claimed.
One of the biggest driving factors for green IT was reducing energy expenses, the report claimed. Interestingly, the number of respondents stating that they are implementing green IT to ‘do the right thing for environment’ has fallen to 30 per cent, compared to 50 per cent in 2007.
However, barriers to a green IT strategy continue to be a problem. A significant 40 per cent of firms said a lack of a clear business case or return on investment (ROI) proof prevented them from adopting one. Also, too many competing priorities was another major barrier.
One of the greatest opportunities in the market lies in eliminating redundant applications in the datacentre, Forrester claimed. A total of 24 per cent of companies stated they are planning to eliminate redundant applications in 2010 and a further 11 per cent is planning to do so in 2011.
Printer consolidation and PC power management continues to see vital demand, with 66 per cent of respondents already implementing printer consolidation and a further 19 per cent planning it for this year or 2011.
Finally, ECEM system adoption is continuing to increase, whether it is provided by vendors or service providers, Forrester said. A total of 19 per cent of respondents stated that they have already implemented an ECEM system, with a further 17 per cent planning to implement one in 2010 or 2011, and an additional 10 per cent planning one after 2011.
For vendors and channel partners looking to capitalise on this space, Forrester said they should push the ‘IT for green’ message in 2010.
“As green IT has become increasingly mainstream over the past couple of years, providers are now beginning to move into IT for green. IT for green represents a fundamental shift from the datacentre and distributed IT activities that predominantly characterised green IT,” Forrester’s report said. “This requires not only a change in service offering, but also a shift in the portfolio and go-to-market strategy of vendors and service providers – going beyond helping the IT organisation to becoming an enabler of a corporate-wide, holistic vision of sustainability,” the report said.
Forrester’s advice in the report to both vendors and service providers is to sharpen the ROI story and aim higher in customer organisations when pitching green IT.
“Vendor strategists must redouble their efforts to provide tangible evidence of ROI both through ‘hard’ cost-savings on energy bills, and ‘soft’ returns like improved brand perception, higher employee satisfaction and retention, and great ability to meet customer requirements for greener processes and products,” the report advised.
“Vendors seeking leadership positions must shift their focus to the role that IT organisations and IT infrastructure will play in broader, corporate-wide sustainability programs,” the report added. This realm of IT for green is where the bigger potential impact lies to make long-lasting changes to the business. For strategists this means engaging at the top of the IT organisation where the business interface lies.”
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